When is the best time to run a super demo?

When is the best time to run a super demo?

To get the most out of a super demo, you want to run it at the right time. The ‘right time’ can mean several things, though: it may mean the peak season for your product category, it may mean at the same time as a broader marketing drive, or it may be dictated by the release schedule of a new product.


When is the best time to run a super demo?

There are three key factors to consider when you’re choosing the date for your super demo (and the right date to put that six to eight week preparation timescale in motion).

First: key seasonal times. When are customers buying products like yours? Gift cycles are a good place to start; there’s the obvious Christmas season, but it’s also worth considering other key gifting periods such as Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day. Could there be another opportunity for gifting?

Beyond that, the typical use for a product often creates a seasonal opportunity. Health products generally perform well in January, rising on a wave of post-festive diets and New Year’s resolutions; cleaning products and gardening gear in April, office supplies in May and September, thanks to new tax years and the ‘back to school’ rush.

Second: aligning marketing activity. Essentially, this is about making sure your super demo is properly joined up with your own marketing strategy. Marketing activities such as TV ads or coupon campaigns build awareness; super demos capitalise on that awareness to convert more customers on the shop floor, moving them along a structured journey.

It’s also possible to align with Costco’s marketing activity. Costco distributes a magazine called Connection to its members; knowing what Costco will write about (and therefore promote) ahead of time allows you to join up your marketing efforts. We at WDS have access to the Costco Connection editorial schedule and calendar, so we can advise you on the best timings for activity. If there’s an opportunity to tie in your super demo with a magazine feature about your product category, we can make that happen.

Thirdly: product launches. New releases are an ideal time for super demo activity, especially for brands with a high new product development rate – Gillette, for instance. These launches are a great time for brands to introduce a new use for themselves, too — if you’re branching out from shampoo to conditioner or from detergent to fabric softener, there’s an opportunity to show the complete offering.


Cases in point

Think back to our three favourite super demos from the start of this series. Each of them succeeded because they were well timed, following more than one of these principles through to a sound conclusion.

Lanson, as the official champagne of Wimbledon, had a perfect opportunity to align marketing activity. We ran our demo around the Wimbledon fortnight because there was such a strong association with something very much in the public mind.

Ferrero Rocher had a specific, timely objective centred around the Christmas gifting season; peak purchase time for their brand, and four specific products they were pushing to own Christmas in the minds of customers. This plan was backed up by Costco’s fortnightly voucher book and in-store quads: a logistical approach where a brand is given a prominent position in the warehouse, which Ferrero maximised with their visual design.

Vanish opted for the April spring cleaning season for their super demo, and timed the launch of their new product — Vanish Gold — to align with this peak buying opportunity. Again, they aligned with the promotional pricing strategy within Costco warehouses, extending the demo from novelty into an attractive saving opportunity.

The hat-trick, of course, is the perfect combination of new product delivery, at peak public interest time, aligned with Costco’s in-house promotion. Achieve that, and you’re setting your super demo up for a roaring success.

Next up in the series: people power! How do we train and prepare brand ambassadors to deliver the full super demo experience?

What makes a WDS super demo so super?